The $1.34 million sold-out supercar hasn't even hit the streets yet, but as a statement of intent for hybrid technology it already speaks volumes--and the Italian marque has confirmed that more hybrid Ferraris are on the way. Electric cars aren't in Ferrari's plans, however.
"I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids," said Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo in an interview with Bloomberg.
With hybrid technology now a valuable performance tool as well as vital for reducing the emissions of high-performance cars, there's plenty of scope for a range of hybrid-equipped Ferraris. "I want to have different Ferraris for different Ferraristi,” di Montezemolo explained.
The Ferrari chairman, who has turned the luxury brand into a company propping up 10 percent of parent Fiat's earnings in 2012, believes there's a sub-set of customers interested in hybrid technology, and Ferrari can sell those vehicles without harming its image or stepping over customer boundaries.
Electric cars might be a step too far for the brand, which trades as much on the sonorous tones of its V-8 and V-12 engines as it does styling, performance or luxury.
Ferrari is one of several high-end automakers launching a hybrid supercar this year--British firm McLaren and German giant Porsche also have plug-in hypercars in the works. Of these, only Porsche has publicly explored an all-electric sports car, with 2011's Porsche Boxster E.
Sascha Gommel, an analyst with Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, told Bloomberg why high-end hybrids are becoming popular.
“It makes sense to test new technology with luxury and high-end cars as customers tend to be less price sensitive, and more willing to pay for additional technology." Gommel adds that many are also seeing the benefits of electric motors for performance reasons.
di Montezemolo's comments echo those from a few years back, suggesting he's unlikely to move on his electric car stance any time soon. And some might argue that the 7,000-or-so cars Ferrari sells each year don't make much difference in the grand scheme of things anyway.
But the hybridization of Ferrari's range seems to be the ideal scenario for both green types and performance enthusiasts alike.